The end of the line for driving down the price of hybrid batteries with large order size is here, Toyota Motor executive engineer Dave Hermance said during a recent visit to the Toyota plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. The economy of scale strategy has run out on nickel-based batteries, he said, but new technology – batteries made using lithium ion – are coming. Trouble is, this won't be for a few more years: three for the first hybrids to use them (like this Smart EV prototype), ten until they all do, is Hermance's prediction. In the meantime, interest in hybrid cars is expected to continue to rise. Buyers of Toyota's hybrids will be hit with a price increase from the costlier batteries, and will also miss out on the highest Federal tax credits available, because so many Toyota hybrids have been sold. Once lithium batteries are more regularly available, Hermance said, Toyota would try the same economy of scale tactics to drive those prices down.

Related:
[Source: Courier-Journal / Robert Schoenberger via Mixed Power]

Share This Photo X